Nov 28 03
Bio of The Viewpoints
In 1971 I received a phone call. Uncharacteristically I answered. I was 25years old. I was in meditation. I found myself talking to a reviewer from a news paper in San Francisco. The woman wanted to know about my performance. What “she said’ was the idea behind my performance? My idea. I said after trying to pull my thoughts away from the cosmos, consciousness. And that was the beginning, or almost, of the journey now know as The Viewpoints. At that moment I found myself touching the web of a project that was going to reach from art into politics, social structure, philosophy, physics and in the moment of answering found the connections to eastern beliefs. This project, that was to touch so deeply our social, scientific, artistic and metaphorical nerve had made its first connection.
Much of this work is intrinsic to our very being. It is how we function as people in the subtext of our lives. You will find that as you are found in lichen, as you are found in the movement of the stars as you are found in genes as you are found in societal mores as you are found in philosophical ideas, you will find yourself in these thoughts that came from such and unsuspecting source.
I had no idea that I might find all that I have found having just finished this theory in April 2003 after 26 years of work. I invite you to an explanation of this work
Time line on this theater technique commonly called The Viewpoints or properly called The Six Viewpoints.
1957 – I was I think 11 years old when I decided to find out what choreography was made of. I had been hanging over the back of chairs listening to visual artist talk about painting when I decided that there must be an equivilant language for performance. They talked about the use of perspective, focal point, light source, placement of image use of texture, etcetera. I wanted to choreograph as an artist and was looking for a language like the one that these painters used to make and critique their work. I found in the library in Bozeman Montana nothing that would tell me what I wanted. I was exasperated. I wanted to know tools and medium not the type of writing on dance that I later was to refer to as wedding reviews. All the information on dance was built around fluffy descriptions of specific performances. I made the supposition that this vocabulary must exist because dance just as any art form was technical in nature. I resolved that I could find this language. I knew from me father that all thing in the universe could be found and named just as the technical language that built temples had been found and the stars had been charted and the knowledge of the body in ballet had been found through measuring things, counting and seeing things that did not exist before some one went to the trouble of looking for them in love and yearning to know them.
This attitude was a direct result of my surroundings in Montana. In that isolation and contact with space I felt I could reconstruct anything that had been discovered given thousands of years of work.
I took a freight train to California to drop in on the only person I knew that lived outside Montana. I started my search there and was to find the first of my tools in a meditation technique called Transcendental Meditation. This tool of investigation came in the form of a phrase called News of a Difference. Maharishi used it to explain how the mid worked while meditating. The mind began to experience finer and finer states of perception or a process of New of a Difference.
Merce Cunningham came to town and I was able to recongnize through this concept of “News” that he was working not on a dance but with basic materials of dance. He was working with a partical of dance called space. I relized that here was a man who had exposed basic materials rather than embroidering on them. A few months later the Grand Union company came to peforme and teach and I saw that this working with basic vocabulary was an artistic movement.
I got an invitation to join Barbara Dilley in a new work she was starting and caught a ride to New York with Yvonne Rainer. I found myself surrounded by a whole community of artist in all fields that were working with what I now call deconstruction. I had come to live amoung a whole group of artist who were basically wandering around talking to and investigating space through various means.